Tuesday, June 21, 2016

That's a wrap!

Another school year has come to a close. Every year I take satisfaction knowing that we have successfully moved the students forward on their formal education journey. At Williams we end the year with a ceremony called "Arch Day" to celebrate the students' efforts and progress over the current school year. There is always a tremendous sense of accomplishment for both students and teachers as we acknowledge the hard work of the whole community. This year was a hard year for me personally as I lost two very important people in my life within an 18 day span. One was my mother, who succumbed at 94 to Dementia. I continued to learn from her until the last day of her life. I watched her struggle for her final seven years, but at the same time I learned to appreciate the changes and challenges that come from the mind and body in its final stages. She was so strong from the beginning of her life to the end, and I hope to move forward with the same strength and conviction that was modeled for me. My dear cousin, Janice, my lifelong companion in so many adventures and trials finally lost the vicious war with ovarian cancer. Her five year battle with this disease was fought with strength, dignity, and great love for her family. She always put them first and continued to smile, advise, and be there for them. Her example has given me renewed perspective to live my life to the fullest every day and to try to give everyone my best effort in whatever I do for as long as I can do it. So June 2015 is a watershed moment for me. I have to decided to retire from my position in Newton Pubic Schools and explore a new path. I am a rabid Red Sox fan. I have taken a job as a tour guide with the Boston Red Sox. I am giving tours of historic Fenway Park. it is a lot of fun so far. I am meeting new colleagues,(who are wonderful and also crazy Red Sox fans) and watching the joy and wonder on people's faces as they see the Fenway field for the first time. Life is changing, but it is good. I hope to remain true to the words I spoke to the graduating 5th graders this year: "learn, grow, and improve. None of us are experts, all of us are learning. I want to keep living and learning to the fullest. It is the best way to honor the people in our lives and work to make our community as good as it can be. Be kind to each other, help each other, take care of each other.

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